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The Lincoln Lawyer (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,317 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This #1 bestselling legal thriller from Michael Connelly is a stunning display of novelistic mastery - as human, as gripping, and as whiplash-surprising as any novel yet from the writer Publishers Weekly has called "today's Dostoevsky of crime literature."

Mickey Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers - they're all on Mickey Haller's client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence, it's about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it's even about justice.

A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman he picked up in a bar chooses Haller to defend him, and Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It is a defense attorney's dream, what they call a franchise case. And as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career. Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal - this time to save his own life.

Q&A with Michael Connelly

Q: The Lincoln Lawyer is your second book to be made into a movie. How does that feel?

A: I am very fortunate to have this experience even once. I wish every writer got a chance to see the written work translated to the visual. It is quite thrilling.

Q: You’ve said that Matthew McConaughey nails the character of Mickey Haller. In what ways?

A: I would say it is in many subtle ways that add up to a big performance. Mickey is a guy who is always looking for an angle. He is a bit cynical and cocky. At different times in the movie McConaughey seems to convey these character aspects without dialogue. Then when it comes to dialogue and action he delivers flawlessly. The story is about a cool, calm man being put into a desperate situation. McConaughey makes that leap convincingly.

Q: What was your involvement in the making of the movie?

A: Almost none. I looked at the first and last versions of the script, took a few phone calls from producers and location scouts, and that was about it. I think my biggest contribution outside of writing the book was giving my trust to Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi, the producers. They promised me six years ago that they would keep the gritty realism of the story – the-law-in-the-trenches aspect of it. I trusted them to do that and with Brad Furman, the director, they came through.

Q: What were your immediate thoughts when you first read the script? When you heard about each cast member?

A: Depends on which script. It was a long-running work in progress. I went from not liking the first effort to being blown away by the last version. I am a huge believer in rewriting in my own work so I knew that the more time they spent with the script, the better it would become. As far as casting goes, I don't write with anybody in mind. But I saw Tropic Thunder with Matthew McConaughey in it and immediately thought he would be good at being Mickey Haller. A year later he was cast, so I was happy from the start. The rest of the cast is just fantastic. As each was announced, I became more and more excited. John Leguizamo was in Brad Furman's previous film and was just excellent. When I heard he was aboard, it was a great day. Same with all the rest. Bryan Cranston happens to be the star of my favorite show, Breaking Bad. So I couldn't be happier with him in the cast.

Q: What was your inspiration for The Lincoln Lawyer? Is Mickey Haller based on someone you know?

A: I met an attorney who worked out of his car, not because he was not doing well but because he believed it was the best way to do the job in L.A. That was the spark, and it went from there.

Q: Are there any scenes in the film that you wish were in the book?

A: There are definitely a few lines I wish were in the book. There is a scene where Mickey drops his sleeping daughter off at his ex-wife's home. It is a poignant scene that I really love and could have used in the book.

Q: Did you visit the set while they were filming the movie? What was that experience like?

A: I went four different times and scheduled the visits to coincide with the shooting of some significant scenes. I loved what I was seeing on both sides of the camera: a lot of dedication to the project. Everyone on the crew felt like they were making something good. It was great to witness.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Connelly's first legal thriller has gotten virtually universal raves for its courage, plotting and humor—and those qualities also make the audio version a triumph. Grupper vividly brings to life Connelly's large cast of characters: from the shrewd, hard-working criminal defense lawyer Mickey Haller—whose office is the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car and who spends his advertising budget in the Yellow Pages—to the sleazy collection of biker outlaws, con artists and prostitutes who make up most of his clients. Grupper is especially subtle as he reads the words of Louis Ross Roulet, a Beverly Hills real estate agent charged with attempted murder—a character whose guilt and motives darken at every appearance. Haller distrusts Roulet almost immediately, but he also sees the man's wealthy mother as the source of the long-running financial franchise every criminal lawyer longs for. Grupper's take on Connelly's scenes between Haller and Roulet is taut and fascinating: an audio tour-de-force of the highest order. Equally compelling are Haller's scenes with his two ex-wives; his friend and investigator; and a compelling client from the past who went to prison because Mickey couldn't believe he was innocent.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Lincoln Lawyer Novel (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reissue edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455500232
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455500239
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,317 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #834,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Ware Cornell Jr. VINE VOICE on October 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Abraham Lincoln is revered by lawyers everywhere for his courtroom skills and practical wisdom. The Lincoln Michael Connelly refers is not Abraham, but rather the automobile.

Mickey Haller, son of an original Los Angeles superstar lawyer, owns several. At times the limousine business seems preferable to his own. But finally he gets, to his eternal regret the "franchise case", the kind of case that not only pays the bills but causes other clients to want his services.

A young rich real estate broker is charged in the attempted murder of a hooker. His insistence in his innocence causes Haller to realize he may have what he has always dreaded, the actually innocent client. But he finds his defense efforts in disarray as the case sours, and he himself becomes a murder suspect.

Non-lawyers usually do not write good legal thrillers. Michael Connelly, a former reporter and America's best mystery writer, is the exception that proves the rule. He has a great ear for the courtroom and a sense of the professional and economic dilemmas trial lawyers face.

I will say this, however, in real life no matter how secret the client confidence, lawyers are ethically able to access the expertise necessary to know how to respond to any dilemma in an ethically sound way. The real Mickey Haller would have picked up the phone to the Bar's hotline for an ethics opinion. That simple act would have destroyed a helluva tale.

I hope we will see more of Haller. He has his demons but he is not as dark a protagonist as Harry Bosch. The reality is, in his first legal thriller, Connelly has produced a book every bit as good as John Grisham's A Time To Kill. That is saying a lot.
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Format: Hardcover
Mickey Haller is a dirty-shirt criminal defense lawyer who cleans up well. He has a narrow life that is lived within the parameters of the criminal justice "machine". His friends are investigators, bail bondsmen, and other lawyers. His principal challenge is finding enough clients to enable him to make the mortgage payments and otherwise cope with the high cost of living in LA. That focus predisposes him to cut some ethical corners, ignore some people who should be more central to his life, and put aside questions about purpose and the higher good. It's all about the buck.

The buck is all Mickey sees when he lands a wealthy client accused of assault and attempted rape. He worries that the case will be too easy, and his chance for a big score will evaporate in an early plea or a dismissal. However, that turns out not to be the case as Mickey's "franchise" client leads him through a troubling hall of mirrors that both continually distorts the truth and leaves Mickey staring at reflections of himself that he would rather not acknowledge.

This novel is well written and imaginative, and contains some surprising plot twists. It also has some story elements that just don't hang together. There's no credible explanation for why exactly this case fell into Mickey's lap. The surprise climax left me saying, "aw, c'mon!" In the end, the solution was a lot short of what I stayed up until 3 in the morning hoping to see revealed.

But then again, the story did keep me up reading until 3 in the morning. That doesn't happen often. Despite its flaws, this is a book to recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
This novel is definitely on a par with the best of the fifteen stories in Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series; any initial disappointment that might be experienced by Bosch's fans when they discover that Connelly has at least temporarily abandoned Harry in favor of Mickey Haller, a criminal defense attorney whose seemingly guilty clients often benefit from police errors, will almost immediately be replaced by the recognition that Connelly has created another character at least as complex and interesting as Harry. Mickey's persona is almost the opposite of Harry's, for him the law is about the art of the possible, his clients are often individuals who are down on their luck and on the wrong side of the law. Harry concentrates on identifying the guilty in order to provide justice for the victims and their families; Mickey is afraid that some day he will be hired to defend a client whose innocence he will be incapable of recognizing and thus he will simply pursue the "best deal" as opposed to throwing all his effort into gaining a "not guilty" verdict.

The story opens with Mickey receiving a telephone call from Fernando Valenzuela (no, not the pitcher, but the bail bondsman) in his office while on his way to a court hearing for Harold Casey, a member of the Road Saints motorcycle gang who is awaiting trial on multiple drug and weapons charges. (The Lincoln Town Car which is his office is an integral element both in his life and also eventually becomes an important detail in the particular case which is at the center of this story.
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